ASU's Keller considering a transfer
Carpenter elevated to starting spot, Keller considers leaving
College Football News Wire
Updated: Aug. 21, 2006, 11:02 AM ET
TEMPE, Ariz. -- In an abrupt change, Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter has decided to make sophomore Rudy Carpenter the starting quarterback.
Senior Sam Keller, named the starter on Friday, was excused from the Sun Devils' practice Sunday night and is considering transferring to another school.
"It's simple. I made a mistake on the quarterback situation and I'm changing my mind," Koetter said after Sunday's workout. "We're going to start Rudy Carpenter. I've excused Sam Keller from practice to consider his options."
Koetter said he decided to make the switch on Saturday and told the quarterbacks of his change of mind later that day.
"Coach Koetter just said 'Hey, I'm going to do what's best for the team. I'm going to do what the team wants," Carpenter said. "I think the decision is going to affect the team in the best way and this is what we're going to do."
The team was told at a meeting Sunday afternoon.
"There's a lot of things that have happened," Carpenter said. "I'm not going to go into details about it, but with the quarterback situation like this, sometimes those things just happen."
According to the East Valley Tribune, several players requested a meeting with Koetter after the initial decision and told the coach they believed the job should go to Carpenter.
Neither Koetter nor Carpenter would confirm that the meeting took place.
"I talked to so many people about this," Koetter said. "This has been weighing heavy on my mind for a long, long time and I'm the one that screwed it up. I have to live with it. I'm also the one who has to fix it."
The 24th-ranked Sun Devils open their season Aug. 31 at home against Northern Arizona.
Keller has a redshirt season available, or he could transfer to an NCAA Division I-AA school and play immediately. Koetter said Keller is welcome to stay.
"I know the rumor is flying around there that he's been booted off the team. That's not true," Koetter said. "If Sam wants to come be our No. 2 quarterback, then we'd love to have him."
If Keller leaves, freshman Danny Sullivan, who had planned to redshirt this year, would become Carpenter's backup.
Carpenter was asked if he had thought of transferring after Koetter's initial decision to go with Keller.
"I'm not going to say I was considering leaving," he said, "but when you're put in that situation and you're frustrated and you're upset and you're angry, I think all your options weigh on your mind and they weigh heavily. Sometimes you've just got to do what's best for yourself."
Keller started the first seven games last season before going down with a hand injury. Carpenter came on to lead the country in passing efficiency, yards-per-pass attempt and touchdowns-to-interception ratio.
His performance led to a tight battle for the job going into this season.
Koetter had indicated that neither quarterback had outplayed the other in practice and that Keller largely was chosen because he was a senior. The coach said he had proposed going with a two-quarterback situation, but neither Keller nor Carpenter wanted that.
Last season, Keller completed 58 percent of his passes (155-for-264) for 2,165 yards and 20 touchdowns, with nine interceptions. Carpenter completed 68 percent (156-for-228) for 2,273 yards and 17 touchdowns, with just two interceptions.
On Friday night, Keller said he was "humbled" to get the starting job.
"It's a dream to be a senior and be able to play for all the marbles," Keller said at the time. "I'm very humbled by it because the other guy deserved it as much as I do."
Re: ASU's Keller considering a transfer
Source: ASU's Keller will enroll at Nebraska
ESPN.com news services
Monday, August 21, 2006
Updated: August 22, 3:56 PM ET
Arizona State quarterback Sam Keller is expected to enroll at Nebraska, a source close to Keller told ESPN.com's Joe Schad on Tuesday.
An official announcement is expected Thursday. Keller, who was named the Sun Devils' starting quarterback on Friday only to lose the job to sophomore Rudy Carpenter two days later, had also considered transferring to Louisville or UTEP, not Colorado or Oklahoma, as reported elsewhere, the source said.
Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com reported earlier that Keller was told Monday by ASU coach Dirk Koetter that he would be released from his scholarship.
Keller's mother, Melissa Coveney, told Schad late Monday night that an official announcement was not likely until Thursday. But on Tuesday morning, Schad reported that Nebraska coaches had discussed Keller's pending arrival and that Nebraska's quarterbacks had been briefed on the decision.
Mike Keller, the quarterback's father, is a former professional football player and knows Nebraska coach Bill Callahan. Keller would have one season of eligibility left and would succeed senior Zac Taylor as Nebraska's starting QB in 2007.
The Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star reported on its Web site Monday night that two sources close to the Cornhuskers program said Nebraska offensive coordinator Jay Norvell had phoned the team's quarterbacks to inform them of the coaches' intent to bring Keller aboard. One of the sources, however, said "it's not a done deal."
The newspaper also reported that Mike Keller said his son had been released from his scholarship by Arizona State.
Keller, who started seven games for Arizona State last season before breaking his thumb, would have to sit out this coming season under NCAA transfer rules if he decides to leave the Sun Devils for another Division I-A program. He would have one season of eligibility remaining in 2007.
Keller was one of the top-rated passers in Division I-A in 2005 before he was hurt, completing 58 percent of his passes (155-for-264) for 2,165 yards with 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Carpenter rallied the Sun Devils to a 4-1 record in their last five games last season and was named MVP of Arizona State's 45-40 victory over Rutgers in the Insight Bowl. He led Division I-A in pass efficiency by completing 68 percent of his passes (156-for-228) for 2,273 yards with 17 touchdowns and only two interceptions.
The players were involved in one of the most intense position battles in college football during preseason camp. Koetter announced Keller would be the team's starting quarterback Friday, but then abruptly reversed his decision two days later after meeting with the school's athletic director and a group of team leaders.
"It's simple. I made a mistake on the quarterback situation and I'm changing my mind," Koetter said after Sunday's practice.
Keller, from Danville, Calif., would seem to be a perfect fit for Nebraska coach Bill Callahan's West Coast offense. Taylor is a senior, and highly regarded freshman Harrison Beck went AWOL during Nebraska's preseason camp and transferred to North Carolina State.
If Keller leaves Arizona State, the Sun Devils would have only one other scholarship quarterback on their roster: freshman Danny Sullivan.